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Arts Week 2015: Precariousness in Latin American Cinema

Radical approaches to precariousness and violence in Latin American Cinema will be showcased in a stunning quartet of contemporary films from Brazil and Colombia which will be screened at Birkbeck, University of London.

A still from Mambo Cool, directed by Cao GuimarãesRealisms of Precariousness, a three-day series of free-to-attend screenings which push the boundaries between fiction and documentary, will run from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 May at the School of Arts (43-47 Gordon Square) in the heart of Bloomsbury.

The screenings form part of Birkbeck Arts Week – the College’s annual arts and culture showcase. This year’s programme boasts more than 40 lectures, performances, workshops and discussions.

Realisms of Precariousness will feature the following cinematic works:

  • Exilados do Vulcão by Paula Gaitan (Brazil). A reflection on veiled time and emotions, on memory finding its path. (Monday 18 May, 6pm-9pm, Birkbeck Cinema)
  • Otto by Cao Guimaraes (Brazil). A film about about alterity, the intimate, the portrait, the image as devotion. (Tuesday, 19 May, 2pm-5pm, Keynes Library)
  • Colombian double feature (Wednesday, May 20, 6pm-9pm, Room B04, 43 Gordon Square):
  • Señoritas by Lina Rodriguez (Colombia). The picture goes up in flames when the girl performing at Señoritas walks on the streets. A certain fragility of the everyday is broken.
  • Mambo Cool by Chris Gude (Colombia). We are in a land of images and ‘exile´ where swing and sabor are well known. Something drowns at the same time that flashes like lightning – and emerges as a source of life.

The Realisms of Precariousness series – which comes as a result of collaboration between Hambre and Colombian Film Panorama with the support of the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS) at Birkbeck – will also feature Q&A opportunities via Skype with the film makers, and an opportunity for attendees to discuss the status of current Latin American filmmaking.

Sebastian Wiedemann, Florencia Incarbone and Geraldine S. Kobilanski from Hambre, who have curated the screening series said Realisms of Precariousness aims to show a hidden reality, without excluding the absurd seriousness of violence or the essential poetics of precariousness.

Paula Bohórquez from Colombian Film Panorama said: “The series deals with the question of identity and gathers alternative views of some Latin American realities. Each work, in its own way, breaks the canon expected from films of certain geographies, by separating its stories from stereotypes and socio-political contexts.”

Realisms of Precariousness is part of Birkbeck Arts Week, which runs in and around Bloomsbury from Monday 18 to Saturday 23 May. To book a free place at the screenings, and to view the full programme of Arts events, visit www.bbk.ac.uk/artsweek.

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Hambre is an observatory and laboratory dedicated to research, discussions and the production of critical and sensitive thought by contagion and through connections with experimental cinema(s).

Colombian Film Panorama showcases Colombian documentaries and fictional films and creates relevant film programmes for London audiences